Monday, April 30, 2012

working hard or hardly working

Steve watched Brandon for a few hours on Saturday while I went into work to complete my quarterly reports. It felt good being back at work, even though no one was there to chat with. I can't believe I've missed work. I thought I'd be like Ron Livingston on Office Space for these three months, but instead I discovered I actually like working. I miss the sense of purpose I had each day. Now, I have to check my cell phone sometimes to see what day of the week it is.

I know I have a sense of purpose as a mom, too. I know that these days where it seems like nothing gets done are actually productive because I'm raising a baby to become a strapping young lad. But I do miss the accomplishments. An accomplishment for me now is getting a shower in. So today I vacuumed and dusted and smiled at my work. At least something got done. Between that, the shower, and the pilates video, today was a productive day.

And I will take advantage of these nameless days for the next few weeks, because before I know it, I'll be back at work longing for the days of watching "Hoarders" on the couch while cooing at my sweet baby Brandon. And fingers crossed, he'll be sleeping through the night by then. Otherwise, I'm going to be a real bitch to work with.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

diaper problems


Is it just me or does he look much older than 3 weeks? Sometimes I look at his face and swear I'm looking at a much older child. He's our little Benjamin Button.

He's peeing through clothes again. Or so I thought. Turns out, he only pees through diapers that I put on him, so Steve is the much better diaperer of us two. That's fine on the weekends, but tomorrow, when Steve is back at work, I plan on having six outfits ready to change Brandon into.

And one of these days I should figure out how to put on a diaper correctly. And I thought I was doing so well...I guess I can only do it right when we use giant diapers. Now that we're using ones that fit him just right, I have no clue what I'm doing.

Friday, April 27, 2012

onesie step for mankind

Anytime Brandon leaves the house, he's wearing a onesie. And why, I thought to myself while snapping today's on, don't adults? Personally, I could handle never seeing a man's hairy plumber's crack or a young woman's hot pink thong or a slightly chubby girl's muffin top between her low rise jeans and too-tight tank top.

Perhaps onesies would also limit unwanted pregnancies since we know what a problem males have taking off a bra. If you added snaps into the mix, I'm sure many wouldn't be able to perform under the pressure.

Have I just discovered the secret to world peace? No unwanted body eyefuls and no unwanted pregnancies? The domino effect would be astounding. Sounds like a peaceful world to me. Holly for President 2016!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

NFL draft day

Happy NFL draft!

Now if only we were fans of a less shitty team. I guess it could be worse. We could be Colts fans.

I always have Fantasy Football to look forward to (although my record was even worse than the Dolphins).

I actually miss Football Sundays. If you'd had told me six years ago that I would be saying that, much less publicizing it on the internet, I'd laugh in your face. Love changes people.

Love brought us a little Dolphins fan of our own. If he grows up to be a Patriots fan, I'm afraid his dad will disown him. Let's hope he has enough sense to agree with daddy while under our roof.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

heads up

Little Boy Brandon and mommy went to her work today. It was nice to have some adult conversation about work gossip and something other than Brandon's sleep schedule (although that was discussed, too, as expected of any new parent).
When we got home, we did some tummy time on the Boppy. Sure, it wasn't floor level, but Brandon did hold his head up. Pretty impressive for a three-week-old, if you ask his proud mommy. He has held his head up before, but never did I have proof caught on camera until now.
 How has three weeks already passed? I'll be back to work and Brandon will be in daycare before I know it. Even the thought of leaving this boy in somebody else's care makes me a bit uneasy. Maybe that's why I haven't found a daycare yet...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

must be held

I used to wonder why stay-at-home moms would hire nannies. After yesterday, I understand. It's so they can take showers and make the bed and do the laundry. It's so they can get a coffee when their heads are pounding and check their email and work out.

Every day I want to at least make the bed, take a shower, write, and do my pilates video. Four things that are fairly quick, you'd think I'd find time for all of those. However, yesterday I didn't do a single one (yes, today I'm smelling pretty funky). Because something has gotten into Brandon where he cries if I'm not holding him. If I try to put him down in the napper, where he used to sleep during the day, he fusses until I pick him back up. It's insane. I literally spent a whole day holding a baby yesterday. But I can't do this forever. So I texted Steve that we need a swing or vibrating chair or something in lieu of me that Brandon can fall asleep in.
Over his lunch break, Steve ran out and got Brandon this swing chair. This swing chair allowed me to make breakfast and unload the dishwasher this morning. I'm hoping this afternoon I can make the bed and take a shower and do my pilates video. The chair did eventually get Brandon into his napper.He hasn't slept in there for days. I'll take what I can get. But I want the old Brandon back!

Monday, April 23, 2012

man about town

 Our little man about town. We dressed him in in actual shirt and pants four days last week since we left the house with him that many times. At home he just wears sleep n' plays for easier diaper changing.
 He does a whole lot of scowling, but I think it's cute.
He sleeps with his hands behind his head pretty frequently. Just chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool.

He got used to being held a lot with Grandma being here last week, so now we're trying to reteach him to entertain himself at times. It's not going so well. That's him fussing now.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

neglected boy

My poor neglected dog. Nearly six years now he has been our baby. He sleeps with us at night, we walk him every day. He gets a bone every Thursday. I buy him new toys frequently from Target. He cuddles with us on the couch while we watch tv each night. He is one of the most spoiled dogs in the world, a part from those ones who eat canned dog food and go to doggy daycare.

So imagine his jealousy when a new baby joins our home. Every visitor that stops by wants to see Brandon, not Tucker. We obsess over Brandon, and when Tucker sniffs around him out of curiosity, we shoo him away angrily. Tucker has lost his spot as the center of our attention and as the baby of the family. He doesn't seem to like it one bit. He didn't eat the first day we brought Brandon home. I have let him into the backyard and forgot to let him back into the house. He is still my little baby, but not my only one. And no one likes being second fiddle - dogs included.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

elevator eyes from Chubs

Today I got my first post-baby body check out. Granted, it was by a chubby cook at Smashburger. He had a pleasant face, but certainly wasn't my ideal ogler. It would have been better for my self-esteem had a dimpled frat boy with muscular arms eyeballed me. But I guess any elevator eyes are better than none. Or is that true? Did this chubby cook think he was in my league? That he could get a date with me by hand-delivering my food to me? That I was just plump enough that I would go out with him but not so plump that he'd be embarrassed to be seen with me?

The pounds are melting off, well, I should say sweating off to be more accurate. I lost two pounds in a day by doing virtually nothing. Hopefully this continues until I'm in the 140s. But I'm also not getting my hopes up. I've had a baby before: I know you don't magically revert back to your pre-baby weight without putting some serious effort into it. I'm wearing maternity pants and my bigger non-maternity shirts. That's one good thing about having a large chest: you have large shirts to fit into after having a baby. That's the only good thing, though, as far as I can tell. These people with their breast enlargements confuse me. I had watermelon-sized breasts for two days while I was engorged and it was pretty horrific. Why you would choose to add weight into your bra will never make sense to the girl who desperately wishes there was less weight in her's.

But I'm digressing. The point of this post was for a mere moment I didn't feel pregnant or like a postpartum blob: I felt like a woman that could be checked out again - even if just by Chubs the Cook. Not the biggest self-esteem boost in the world, but a boost nonetheless.

Monday, April 16, 2012

precedence

Where do these days go? You would think staying at home all day would give me plenty of time to finish all sorts of projects, read books, write novels, get my pre-baby body back (well, hopefully better, I was plumping out before pregnancy). At least, that's what I thought before he arrived.
But somehow by the time I feel motivated to start on projects, it's 5pm already and Steve comes home and we eat dinner and evening is upon us. Days fly by between feeding and changing and holding him. And every time he stirs in his sleep I can't help myself from rushing to look at him. When his eyes are open, I want to interact with him.
And then, all of a sudden, projects, books, and working out don't seem all that important. My to-do list just gets longer while I hold my beautiful baby in my arms, realizing some responsibilities take precedence over the other ones.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

wasted youth

Why couldn't I have saved that stamina I had in college for now? I think of all the nights when we'd be out until 4 or 5 am, then I'd wake up to be at my morning class, go to work, then do it all again. I didn't need much sleep to function and I took full advantage of it. I wasted nights away with bottles of beer, shots of whiskey, and people who would never be a part of my life again.

I should have saved all that battery life for nights when Brandon keeps me up. Now I'm old - my back starts aching, my head throbbing, my body shaking if I don't get enough sleep. I don't think I'm really old enough to say this yet, but youth is wasted on the young; it takes a little more maturity to appreciate it, and by the time you appreciate it, it's already gone.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

bath time

Grandma is here!
Aunt Amber snapped some pictures during sponge bath time.
Brandon's umbilical cord stump fell off today, so once his circumcision scar has healed, he will be taking real baths.

Friday, April 13, 2012

nested family

At 3am, thunder rolled, lightening flashed, wind whipped branches to and fro. And I sat in his nursery, looking out his window, rocking Brandon to sleep. I thought of how I was here, keeping him safe.

I remember a set of nesting dolls my mom had that she would pull out of the attic every year along with all the other Christmas decorations. She would take the slightly smaller one out of the biggest one, over and over unstacking them until they all stood side by side by side on our windowsill. Then on New Year's Day, she would place the smallest one into the slightly bigger one into the slightly bigger one until the biggest one held all the other nesting dolls inside of him.

I thought of that this morning while I watched the thunderstorm, thinking of myself keeping Brandon safe and protected, but needing some protection myself. Steve protects me and is Brandon's second layer of safety. We all stand alone, but we also all fit together in one warm and secure little nest.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

first baby pictures

Brandon's first baby pictures are up on Donna Boucher's blog! Head over and check them out, then come back and tell me what you think.

Donna came over Saturday when we were all in high spirits. Pictures turned out pretty great, if you ask me. Thanks Donna, for spending your Easter weekend taking pictures of our new little family.

(If you're not already familiar with Donna, she is a pretty fantastic photographer and is also a contributor on the Pioneer Woman's blog - she is also the mother and mother-in-law of three great friends of mine).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

becoming gentler people

I remember when I was sixteen and going to take my driving test for the second time (why does the state of Washington require you to back around a corner within one foot of the curb? I have never seen any driver do that) - I was telling myself I could do this. I thought to myself, millions of other people have done this: look at this guy driving next to you - he's missing all his teeth but four and he has done this. Everyone driving around you has done this. You can do this too.

I have used that logic to talk myself into being able to do things since then, too. When I went into the hospital to have Gracie, I told myself almost every woman I knew had done this, some multiple times without drugs. When I went to countless interviews after being laid off and was getting tired of being rejected again and again, I told myself there are millions of jobless people out there doing the same thing (then later I started protesting unemployment claims and realized there are millions of unemployed people, but they certainly aren't all out seeking employment).

Just yesterday I was behind this infuriating woman in the return line and then she huffed right past me and cut in front of me two feet before the checkout line and paid with a bag of silver coins. I told myself every day people get upset and bottle it in and I would just have to be patient and not tell this fat, ill-dressed woman wearing a scrunchi exactly what I thought about her. Trust me, I had plenty to say, but I bit my tongue. In the last seven days, I have been telling myself that millions of other people have kids, some in much less ideal situations than my own, and they have been successful parents, so I can be, too.

Steve and I felt about as prepared as we were ever going to get to have a baby. We've been married going on six years, we're either thirty or nearly, we both have good jobs with a steady income. We have a house we can grow into. We felt the time was right, when we started trying to get pregnant, to start a family. After this point, it seems that couples start piling on more pets and thoughts of children vanish slowly until one day someone asks that question just one more time and you laugh in their face and bluntly say, "no, we're not having kids."

So if two people like us found this last week to be tough, I can't even imagine how other people do it. Single moms amaze me. I couldn't have made it through these last seven days without Steve constantly by my side to help with the diaper changes, outfit changes, sponge baths, and feedings. Tomorrow Steve is going back to work, but he will still be here in the evenings and on the weekends to help with all that, all while bringing home an income for us to survive on. Single moms don't usually have anyone that helps out like that.

Or parents of multiples - how do they do it? My brother-in-law has twins and how he and his wife made it through that first year all in one piece amazes me. I mean, I thought it was impressive before, but now I think it's downright staggering.

Steve and I have already noticed a change in ourselves. He talked about kids with the dental hygienist today and both him and I hated when people used to talk about their kids to us. Now we're going to do it all the time. We'll be the ones younger people roll their eyes at, not to. Every day we're changing, adapting to our little boy, morphing into parents, rather than a married couple who just had a baby. Millions of other people have done it; we can too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

chaotic is the norm

Here's my sleeping beauty on day six of existence. He scrunched up his face at the flash. I was watching Celebrity Apprentice the other day and noticed Donald Trump make that same face. Here's hoping Brandon grows up to be a billionaire, as well. I can already tell he'll have better hair.

After a few days of trial and error, Steve and I were determined to get a schedule down and return to some sense of normalcy. We have been barely sleeping since Brandon sleeps all day and is awake most of the night. Last night I took the night shift while Steve slept and Steve took the morning shift while I slept (yes - for those of you who caught that, that means I'm not breastfeeding anymore. Please no judgments, I already received that from my pediatrician's nurse yesterday. Long story short - it just wasn't working out for many reasons; I won't gore you with the details).

We forced ourselves to eat three meals during the day since we had been forgetting to do normal things like eat and brush our teeth. Today was the first time I left the house since returning to it. I just ran a couple errands, but it felt good to realize there was a world outside of our little nest here. I called to check in on my boys while I was out. Oh my god, I'm becoming that mom already and it's only day six.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Three days worth of parenting

1.

Easter Sunday 2012

This is going to be the longest blog post ever. It's actually three blog posts in one. Wednesday Brandon was finally born at 9:48pm. Yes, it was a long day considering we arrived at the hospital at 7:15am to begin the process of bringing him out into fresh air. He was 8 lbs, 15 1/2 oz when weighed, and he peed before making it to the scale, so lets go ahead and credit me with birthing a nine-pounder. He is 21 1/2 inches - all of which flails at me during changing time.

Give me mad props for posting a picture of myself in a hospital gown without straightening my hair. This is Tyra Banks talk show shit right here. Maybe that explains why her show got canceled and why my blog only has twenty-something followers. Oh well. This is an honest picture.

I have started journaling once a day. Those of you who know me know I need to keep my sanity and writing is the best way I know how. It's sort of worked for 29 years now. It's kept me out of prison and insane asylums, at least, and for some people with low expectations that equals a well-adjusted person. I've decided to post some of my journal entries on here. That is why today is your lucky day and you get three posts in one. One of which is just what I've written so far and that unflattering picture.

If you're new to my blog, you should learn to keep your expectations low. Those are the people who think the best of me, any way. Those are the people I think the best of, too: the people who aren't judgmental and don't tell you what to do or how to do it. That might also explain why I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing in this thing they call "parenting."

2.

Day 3 of Motherhood (technically, but barely):

Left the hospital today. When I was a kid, I remember pregnant women talking about the outfit they'd wear home from the hospital - a size 2 pant suit with big gold earrings or something equally ridiculous - like every new mom was a celebrity going to be photographed by the paparazzi.

Personally, I wore these hideous green sweatpants and slippers. My experience was not glamorous in the least. We had asked to get the discharged started and it took entirely too long for my impatient and sleep-deprived self. The nurse talked to me about taking care of myself and then about the baby blues. She looked at my puffy eyes pointedly, which I thought of as judgmental.

Here I am running on four hours of sleep in over two days - one day in which I pushed a nearly nine pound baby out of my body. My nipples are cracked from breast feeding. I can't use the bathroom like a normal person. So yes, maybe I am crying at everything.

In the last 12 hours, I have cried over not being able to take off a onesie, not being able to sleep, a nurse bringing Brandon back from the nursery with a dirty diaper, and a few times for sentimental reasons like hearing Steve talk to Brandon. Then, of course, there's the crying for no particular reason. Add that all up and it makes for some really fucking puffy eyes.

After nearly an eternity, we are in front of the hospital and some broad checks to make sure our car seat base is correctly installed. It isn't.
"Do you have an adjustment part for this?" She asks.
"No, we don't," I snap.
"Well then you can roll up a towel to get the angle right. Do you have a towel?"
"No towel either." I think she got the hint.
"This is fine for the drive home but you'll need to correct it before any other car rides," she finally conceded. I closed the door and, you guessed it, started crying.

I cried until we got home and then I cried when I pulled Brandon's infant seat out and saw his head slumped forward from the way he was tilted and then I understood what that broad was talking about.

It was past feeding time so I hurried Brandon up to his nursery and gave it a go on my sore, cracked nipple. He didn't like how hard he had to work to get anything out of my not-ideal flat nipples, and I certainly didn't appreciate how hard he had to work on them, either. I told Steve I couldn't do it and we would have to use formula. I told him this while big tears dropped onto my breasts and snot poured from my nose - Steve made Brandon a bottle and I fed it to him, envying the perfect nipple that bottle was blessed with.

I laid down to take a nap, but my crying deterred me. I brought a trash can to the side of the bed to fill with my tear and snot-filled tissues. I cried because of how hard this all seems to be and this is only the beginning.

3.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What a difference a day makes.

After that one formula feeding yesterday, I tried out my nipple shield and have been able to breast feed Brandon every feeding since. After I woke up from my nap, I told myself I would just have to get used to short naps for sleep rather than long, peaceful nights of them.

Amber and Dan brought us over dinner last night and we sat and watched tv with Brandon near us. He just got circumcised yesterday and was very needy - I can't say I blame him - I went through a pretty horrific procedure of my own four days ago so I know how he feels. I tried to sleep in our guest room with Brandon in the bassinet so Steve could get some rest. That worked for a while until I had to wake him up anyway because Brandon had crapped and changing this kid's diaper is a two-person job. He hates being naked and squirms and flails with all his might like a fish out of water. At least we don't have to worry about him growing up to be a male stripper or an "escort."

Between feedings and changings both Steve and I got some rest - four full hours worth for me. We all got cleaned up - that meant a sponge bath for flailing Brandon and showers for me and Steve. I put on my own underwear today as I ran through the ginormous mesh ones the hospital gives you. I put on non-sweats and straightened my hair.

Donna and Melinda Boucher came and took pictures of adorable Brandon. I just can't get enough of this kid. He gets cuter every time I look at him. He's a lot of work, but just might end up being worth it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Wednesday

Wednesday is the day - Brandon's birthday. I have been penciled in to be induced. I just heard the news today and I haven't really wrapped my head around it yet; that tomorrow is my last day at work for twelve weeks. That tomorrow is the last day for the rest of our lives that Steve and I won't be parents. It's mind-blowing, really.

I'm a bit anxious to meet this little guy. I'm anxious to be done being pregnant and to be out of the hospital and back at home in our own little nest taking care of our own little baby. It's been a long time coming. Other people say it went fast, but I feel like I've been pregnant forever. The length of time between myself and a blended margarita is telling me I've been with child for eons.

But even with all that time, I never did finish reading that baby book. I will try to finish it tonight. Even with all that time, I'm not prepared, just anxious. The nursery is prepared, the clothes are purchased and washed in Dreft, but I'm just along for the ride - doing the tasks I know I could prepare for since being a mother I don't think you can ever be completely prepared for. I'm anxious for what is to come that I'm not prepared for, prepared to be anxious a lot in the upcoming months.

Can't wait to hold that little baby in my arms and kiss his plump cheeks and coo over how adorable he is. Just two days. One more day of non-parenting, and then the rest of my life with all new adventures.